Law Enforcement Instructors: Safety Comes First

We were out checking out Basic Law Enforcement Training at one community college in the east following the shooting during training in Morehead City that injured an officer this week.

Larry Barnes is the law enforcement training director at Beaufort County Community College. He says staying extra cautious has been the key to keeping his students in safe training environments.

Barnes says, "I practice safety, I teach safety, I push safety for all concerned, because accidents will happen."

On Wednesday, Morehead City Police Officer Garrett Hardin was shot during a training exercise with the department.

At BCCC, Barnes says the only place they use real guns is at the shooting range.

For other training, Barnes says, "We will issue them what we call blue guns or red man guns, which are basically just hard plastic guns that simulate a real service revolver."

Barnes says anyone who feels that training with fake guns isn't beneficial, doesn't understand the live scenario situations that he puts his students through. Barnes says, "When they have a loaded gun in their hand, or they draw it from their holster, they'll know when to act or respond accordingly."

Barnes says it takes his students close to three months of training in the academy before they are allowed to go to the gun range and shoot live weapons. He says once they are there, extra supervision is also on hand to make sure the students, who aren't experienced with those weapons, aren't a threat to anyone around them.